I come from a family of patriots. Both of my grandfathers served in the military. One was a Navy man and the other a Marine. My father’s father served in World War II. I never had the pleasure of knowing this man, but I’ve spent many hours staring at his Purple Heart, wondering about the kind of person he was.
My mother’s father served as a Marine for a short time before a family emergency cut his service short. As an old man, all he talked about were his days at Camp Lejune. He was so proud of his service to this country.
Long after both of these men were gone, flags flew in their honor at Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan. They flew while my husband was serving the last deployment of his military career. He brought these flags home with him when he returned safely from a war that took the lives of so many others. We were lucky. Although the military took countless birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, special events, days, months and years, it never forced us to make the ultimate sacrifice.
We gave some, but we didn’t give all.
As you go about your day today, take every possible opportunity to thank a veteran for his or her service. Trust me, it will mean more to them than you know.